It looks like New Jersey could be moving closer to a solution for patients in need of medicinal marijuana. Chris Christie plans to accept a bill – albeit with some changes – making weed more accessible for certain patients. The bill will especially benefit children, though parents and politicians alike agree that there are still some setbacks.
The bill proposes loosening restrictions on the type of marijuana that can medically be made available in New Jersey and recommends an edible form of the drug. After collecting dust for months on the shelves, the bill was pushed into the spotlight by a father in Scoth Plains, NJ named Brian Wilson. Wilson’s two year old daughter suffers from a rare and life threatening form of epilepsy, and other cases have shown that a certain strain of marijuana could help stop the seizures and save her life. The strain uses less THC, which is the chemical that triggers a high in the brain, and more of a chemical called CBD. This means that the strain of marijuana will not cause a high in children or other users, but could make a great deal of difference in their health. Wilson confronted Governor Christie publicly this week, pressuring him to sign off on the bill.
Governor Christie announced today that he is willing to sign the bill as long as certain changes are made. First, he requires that the edible form of marijuana only be made available to young children who cannot smoke and who could choke on the lozenge form. Christie also wants to remove a provision in the bill addressing eligibility for the medicinal marijuana program, and wants a sign off from both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist before allowing children access to the drug.
The sweeping changes in public and political opinion as it relates to medicinal marijuana seem to have finally reached the towns and cities of New Jersey, the state with the most restrictive policy.
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